Feasibility and effectiveness of a brief meditation-based stress management intervention for patients diagnosed with or at risk for coronary heart disease: A pilot study

Columbia Integrative Medicine Program, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA.
Psychology Health and Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.26). 10/2009; 14(5):513-23. DOI: 10.1080/13548500902890087
Source: PubMed


Extensive research has led to the development of a psychobiological model of cardiovascular disease. This model suggests that psychological factors such as depression, anxiety, hostility, and stress may affect the development and progression of coronary heart disease (CHD). Recent studies have also demonstrated that meditation-based stress reduction programs are useful interventions for patients with various medical and psychological symptoms. The objective of this pilot study was to gather preliminary information regarding the feasibility of implementing a brief meditation-based stress management (MBSM) program for patients with CHD, and those at high risk for CHD, at a major metropolitan hospital that serves a predominately non-local patient population. The secondary aim of this study was to investigate the possibility that such an intervention might reduce depression, as well as perceived stress, anxiety, and hostility, while improving general health scores. The overall feasibility results indicate that this MBSM intervention was highly feasible with regard to both recruitment and retention of participants. In fact, 40% of patients requested further training. In addition, after completion of the 4-week intervention, participants reported significant reductions in depression and perceived stress. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that the brief meditation-based stress management program was well-received by patients and can successfully be used as a supportive program for patients at risk or diagnosed with CHD.

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    • "In addition to pre-post studies showing improvements on a range of psychological outcomes in people with heart disease [82–84], two very small RCTs comparing MBSR to waitlist control groups were reported by Tacón and colleagues [85, 86], who reported benefits in anxiety, emotional regulation and less use of reactive coping styles in MBSR participants, as well as slower breathing frequency post-interventions in a laboratory stress test. In another study, 19 very ill elderly patients with congestive heart failure were randomized to a meditation group which participated in weekly sessions and listened to a meditation tape at home for 30 minutes, twice daily, for 12 weeks, or a control group that only attended weekly meetings [87]. "
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